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Thread: Maintaining Vitamin D

  1. #1
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    Default Maintaining Vitamin D

    Hey guys,

    I decided to get another rabbit after Cookie's death. She is a month old lionhead cross. Cookie's death was caused by vitamin D deficiency. She ate plenty of hay, she had pellets, and I began introducing her to vegetables. I occasionally gave her treats... and unfortunately I did not take her outside much. Anyway, I do not want the same thing to happen to Bandit. Bandit is going to live outside most of the time, so I know that the sun will give her vitamin D. But what if it's not enough? What if something else happens? Can I have some tips on how she can have a healthy life outside? She is in a cage, but I let her run around the yard and exercise a couple of times a day, for about 10 minutes each time. I'm considering building a playpen outside so that she'll have more room as well. Anyway, what should I do to keep her healthy outside?

  2. #2
    Wise Old Thumper
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    The pellets have Vitamin D in them, so she should be getting enough. Have a read on the bag. Are you hoping to get a friend for her?

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    Wise Old Thumper SarahP's Avatar
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    So sorry to hear about Cookie. Are you certain that vitamin D deficiency directly caused the death?
    Sarah.

    RIP Dusty and Clover xxx
    Harry hamster
    Misty and Pearl guinea pigs

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    I canít get another rabbit with her. She really gets along with my dog Bella. And yes, it should be the cause of death. She was paralyzed.

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    It could have been potassium deficiency too. Itís probably that. I donít know honestly. I just know Iím missing something vital to the rabbitís life. I should have gave her tomato paste... Iím regretting so many things. Iím going to look at multivitamins for rabbits to make this one healthy, but I would like advice on giving her a healthy lifestyle.

  6. #6
    Mama Doe Graciee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cookiethelop View Post
    It could have been potassium deficiency too. Itís probably that. I donít know honestly. I just know Iím missing something vital to the rabbitís life. I should have gave her tomato paste... Iím regretting so many things. Iím going to look at multivitamins for rabbits to make this one healthy, but I would like advice on giving her a healthy lifestyle.
    Honestly if she had lots of hay, water, small amount of good quality pellets she should've been fine (veg and forage also but rabbits survive without them) it may have been something random not caused by you, could've just been really unlucky - don't blame yourself I know it's hard xx

    Sent from my HTC U11 using Tapatalk

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    Wise Old Thumper William's Avatar
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    I'm not sure vit d was the cause of death - a lot of people keep their rabbits indoors and only feed hay and pellets and they don't die of vit d deficiency. I'm not sure what causes paralysis but maybe it was genetic? In any case, I wouldn't feed tomato paste or multivitamins. You'll be better off just feeding hay, pellets and a variety of veg/herbs/safe wild foods and maybe a bit of fruit as a treat.

    I'm in the Southeastern USA as well and tbh I wonder if rabbits are better off indoors here...I kept rabbits outdoors as a young kid and teen and while I'm not against it, it does get really hot and humid in the summer which rabbits don't like. They could easily get heatstroke if you're not careful about shade and keeping them cool. You have to be careful about the sun moving if you contain your rabbit in a cage/playpen even if it's just for playtime (sounds obvious, but what's shady right now might not be in an hour and if you get distracted and don't notice...). Then there's so many predators, mosquitoes swarming them which doesn't look at all comfortable, fluctuations of temperature in the winter which also isn't good for rabbits, intense thunderstorms, tornadoes, strong smoke from wildfires, etc. There's just a lot more risk outdoors than indoors and a lot more that goes into keeping them comfortable and making sure they're not frightened, especially when you live in the Southeast.

    If your only reason for keeping her outside is vit d from the sun I would probably reconsider that...for instance, you could just let her play outside for 15 minutes a day instead. Rabbits should ideally be kept with another rabbit, especially if they're outdoors. A single outdoor rabbit is likely to be lonely and at times afraid without the company of another rabbit,being that they're prey animals.

    Re outdoor accommodation - a cage doesn't provide enough space and 10 minutes a day isn't enough exercise. Rabbits need 24/7 access to a run that's at least 6x4x2. The accommodation also needs to be predator proof so that predators can't dig in or chew through (a lot of commercially sold things for rabbits are made of weak wire and wood). Raccoons will reach their hands through wire with larger spaces and can easily open latches so make sure you have locks.
    Last edited by William; 13-03-2018 at 08:51 AM.

  9. #9
    Wise Old Thumper MightyMax's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Graciee View Post
    Honestly if she had lots of hay, water, small amount of good quality pellets she should've been fine (veg and forage also but rabbits survive without them) it may have been something random not caused by you, could've just been really unlucky - don't blame yourself I know it's hard xx

    Sent from my HTC U11 using Tapatalk

    I agree with Grace. Please don't blame yourself!
    Please vaccinate your rabbits for RHD2 as well ..
    Two more house rabbit deaths just confirmed


    Reliable, up to date advice on RHD2: http://forums.rabbitrehome.org.uk/sh...40#post7012340

  10. #10
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    I do not have a choice but to keep her outside. My parents won't let me keep her inside unless it's cold. By the way, I meant that I let her out several times a day in 10 minute periods, sometimes more. Tomorrow I'm going to fix my fence and let her run freely in my yard for playtime. I have a very large yard with plenty of shade when she needs it. She's been inside for a couple of days, but unfortunately they're going to make me put her back outside later this week. I'm going to work my hardest to ensure that she's comfortable and safe outside She's been playing with my elder maltipoo a lot so they're both getting exercise...

    She seems to be healthy-- her poop and urine are fine, but I'm considering switching from Timothy hay with mint to alfalfa hay since she is only a month old. I am also considering purchasing a better brand for her pellet food. Oxbow. I am asking if this is a wise choice?

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